SCUTTLEBUTT 3446 - Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: Doyle Sails, Team One Newport, and LaserPerformance.
CONCOURS DE ELEGANCE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE DINGHIES
By Justin Scott
Carbon alongside wood. Blazers alongside malodorous wetsuits. Moths
alongside Vipers. Greenwich hedge fund managers alongside a professional
tree climber from Jamestown. The once manicured lawns of the American Yacht
Club of Rye, New York are awash with a melee of contrasts and drying
spinnakers. It is once again that unique sailing pageant, the Heineken High
Performance Dinghy Open (on Oct. 7-9).
According to the logo on a shirt in one of my closets, I first attended the
HPDO on 2006. I haven't missed the event since then. For anyone who enjoys
a "back to the future" combination of modern boats and hospitality from a
bygone age, this needs to be on your bucket list. The HPDO is partly about
sailboat racing, partly about a social gathering of folks who love
lightweight high performance racing boats, and partly a Concours de
Elegance of carbon, wood and epoxy spread out on AYC's lawns and dry
An essential ingredient of the HPDO scene is groups of sailors just
wandering around looking at other people's boats, peering under foredecks,
ooohing and ahhhing at rigging and fixes. There are ten dollar fixes to
hundred dollar problems, and inevitably , thousand dollar carbon solutions
to ten dollar problems. This regatta has a buzz that is very special.
I don't think the founders of the regatta ever anticipated that it would
grow to this size. Nor do I think they had a strategy to create a
destination regatta. I believe they just sensed something was missing from
the sailing scene in the North East. John Wyles joined AYC when his
globetrotting wife was posted to the United Nations in New York. John is
one of those quietly enthusiastic men who convey a love of the sport
without shouting or banging the table. He owns a couple of 5-0-5s and
sports the trim grey beard that seems to be de rigueur for half of the of
After reinvigorating the local 5-0-5 fleet, John gently suggested to his
fellow AYC members and local 5-0-5 owners that there was something special
about the congenial atmosphere of a British "dinghy open meeting". He
described an open meeting where a club would open its doors to a couple of
dinghy classes, and for a modest fee, provide a weekend of racing, some hot
showers, and a keg of beer, where sailors would hang around after racing in
the dinghy park swapping stories and tuning tips, where the emphasis was on
small fast boats sailed by one, two or three people and where the
silverware was less important than the hot showers, good friends and beer.
Sometimes the right person, says the right thing at the right club, and it
all comes together. -- Read on: http://tinyurl.com/Viper640-101111
2011 HPDO: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=478
The Extreme Sailing Series is in its fifth season but fears over its future
grew when America's Cup rolled out plans for a similar circuit in a similar
boat all funded by the world's fifth richest man. Can the Extremes survive?
Mark Turner is almost certain that had he taken the job with the America's
Cup, his five year old Extreme Sailing Series would now be defunct.
Last year, he was offered the position as Regatta Director of the 34th
America's Cup. He was tempted but with a young family and some timely and
interesting challenges with the development of Extreme 40 racing, he turned
"It was flattering and it would have been nice to do things without
worrying about where the money was coming from but I have no regrets. I
would not have lasted long.
"The Extreme Sailing Series event would have died I'm sure. The America's
Cup World Series would be the only circuit to exist and I would be running
As it is, Turner is growing the Extremes and despite a sluggish and
complicated sponsorship market, insists the business is sound with income
streams from tourist boards bidding up to a million euros a time to host a
regatta, hospitality and merchandising earners and increased entry fees
from a loyal band of competitors.
From five venues in 2010, it extended to nine this year from Boston to
Istanbul, Cowes to Muscat, Qingdao in China to Trapani in Italy with
Almeria and Singapore next on the list. This will reduce to eight in 2012
with Boston dropping off the list due to the US slump.
All venues were chosen for delivering Turner's unique concept of sailing, a
form of 'stadium sailing' that falls into the category of 'sportainment'.
It features bang on performance catamarans that are almost impossible to
sail well by novices but in the hands of the world's best sailors are
capable of breathtaking speeds and electrifying competition. Given a bit of
wind and some inexperience among a crew, the action can quickly become
spectacular with capsizes, crashes and some unholy messes.
It was this potential for sporting drama that turned the America's Cup on
its head as defenders BMW Oracle seized the opportunity of dipping into
owner Larry Ellison's unbounded pockets to upgrade the image of the Cup
from 'Flintstone' to 'Facebook'. -- Telegraph, read on:
BROADCAST: Using the one design Extreme 40 catamaran, this year's nine
event tour is travelling through Asia, Europe, and North America. The
eighth stop is October 12-16 in Almeria, Spain with live video coverage
from the event beginning Wednesday. Details here:
JACKPOT WINS VIPER 640 NA'S FOR 3rd TIME
Brad Boston, Lee Shuckerow, and Eric Vigrass on Jackpot won their third
straight Viper 640 North American title. 2nd place finisher Jeff Jones also
used Doyle's latest sails. Since Doyle Boston Sailmakers entered the Viper
640 class, no other sailmaker has won as many races or major events.
Doyle's current Viper sail designs are the result of a full and exhaustive
computer design and full size sail testing program that has proven to
create fast, easy to trim and long lasting sails for the fleet. When one
designs come down to one, it's Doyle. http://www.doylesails.com/onedesign
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO PARTICIPATION IN ONE-DESIGN SAILING
By Elizabeth Dudley, Airwaves
The J22 East Coast Championship was canceled in the early part of
September. It had to be rescheduled for a later date due to a "lack of
interest". Four years ago, the J22 class, at least in the Annapolis area,
was one of the strongest fleets. But just a few weeks ago, before a major
event was to be held in Annapolis, only nine boats had registered, even
with the deadline looming. However, this dropping off in numbers at
regattas has not only been seen in the J22 fleet, but in one-design fleets
around the country.
I am sure at some point in everyone's sailing career, you have sailed an
event and were disappointed by the attendance. Or you have participated in
the phenomenon of: I'll sail if everyone else does. But everyone else is
thinking the same thing, no one signs up, and then no one sails. The more
boats that sail a regatta the better the competition. The more boats that
sail, the more fun everyone will have.
So then why are fleets struggling to keep participation numbers up? And how
can that be fixed? What makes a strong one-design fleet strong?
The answer, like everything else to do with sailing is not black and white.
It will differ from fleet to fleet, location to location, and everyone has
an opinion. Before writing this article I spoke with Joel Labuzetta, Junior
Program Director at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, Skip Yale,
owner of Yale Cordage and active in the youth sailing program of Falmouth,
Maine, and John Loe, an avid sailor. Each had their own take on the matter
at hand, but many of their thoughts were similar.
Perhaps the idea they agreed on the most was that in order to keep a fleet
strong, young people have to continue to be introduced in to the boat. Joel
Labuzetta gave the example of the V-15 fleet in Annapolis. It used to be a
strong fleet, but then everyone that was sailing the boat had kids and got
busy. There were no new young people in the class to keep it going. It has
fallen off significantly. Like most other things in life, there is a
succession: the old phases out and the new phases in. The problem lies in
the breaking of that cycle. But then how do you keep the wheel in motion?
Typically, when a parent signs their child up for a junior sailing program,
they sign them up to sail a specific type of boat. Be it optis, lasers, or
420s. The kids then spend their summers learning a lot about one type of
boat. This is certainly not a bad thing. But Skip Yale says that the
Falmouth, Maine area junior sailing programs have found success in
introducing their sailors to "unconventional" junior sailing boats. -- Read
HELPING THE MARINE INDUSTRY
The Marine Industry News category of the Scuttlebutt Forum provides
companies with free online exposure for their personnel, product and
service updates. Plus each week the Scuttlebutt newsletter selects a
sampling of updates to feature in the Thursday edition. Are you in the
marine industry? Post your updates here:
* New Orleans, LA (October 11, 2011) - The 2011 J/22 World Championship
begins racing Wednesday for the 64 teams from four countries (United
States, Canada, Cayman Islands and Germany). Thirteen races are planned for
the four day event. -- Full report:
* A day and a half summit devoted to developing to the highest standards of
on-water race delivery will be held in Kingston, Ontario on October 26-27
for race officers, judges, and event hosts. -- Details:
* Corona del Mar, CA (October 11, 2011) - Twelve teams will compete for the
Prince of Wales Bowl this week at the 2011 U.S. Match Racing Championship,
hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club. Raced in Governor's Cup 21 boats, this
International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 3 event begins on Thursday,
October 13 and ends Sunday, October 16. Favorites include three-time
Champion Dave Perry (Southport, Conn.), Collegiate All-American Taylor
Canfield (St. Thomas, USVI) and defending 2010 Champion Shawn Bennett
(Tiburon, Calif.). -- Full report:
One of the greatest Star crews of all time, Hugo Schreiner of San Diego,
CA, suffered a massive heart attack last week. He returned home from work
complaining of chest pain when he collapsed, and despite the arrival of
paramedics within minutes, there was nothing that could be done. He died at
63 years old.
Hugo was a hands-on guy, a construction expert who could build anything. He
had refurbished a Scandinavian trawler, "Harmony", when he was discovered
by John Driscoll. They went on to win the Star North Americans in 1982,
where Hugo got his first Silver Star.
When Hugo was into something, he was never satisfied. He was always driven
to be the best. Looking to improve he started sailing with Mark Reynolds -
then a rising star- but hooked up instead with Vince Brun who was at the
time was the proven winner. For training, they would bicycle out to the
Point Loma tide pools. Hugo would push them hard back up the hill, building
their leg muscles so that they could out hike the competition. Vince knew
if it came down to a tacking duel they were better than anyone. Victory was
theirs at the 1986 Star Worlds in Capri, Italy - the largest fleet ever
with 117 boats!
Hugo was a sought after crew, winning many regattas with the likes of Bill
Buchan, Paul Cayard, Barton Beek, and others. In 1992 he won the Star
Worlds for a second time crewing for Carl Buchan. Again it was his
competitive drive to excel which was the difference as they came from
behind with a win in the last race. On long beat back to St Francis Yacht
Club from the Berkley Circle, as a victory celebration, Hugo was steering
with Carl trapezing off the backstays!
We will all miss Hugo. He was the King of the Star crews and one of the
characters that make going to Star regattas way more interesting. Never one
to mince words, he always told it like it was and had some great sayings
like, "It can't be an exciting sport if you don't need a helmet!" -- Rick
Peters, full report:
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* From Tom Arthur, New Zealand:
I was interested to read Elaine Buntings article on Helmets in issue 3445.
In NZ approximately five of us Europe Dinghy sailors wear helmets. These
boats have very low booms and if you forget to ease the vang before a gybe
there is no room between the side deck and the boom.
While practicing repeated gybes alone one day in fresh winds, I made the
mistake of forgetting to ease the vang. As I dived across the boat I took
the full force of the boom onto the top of my head. Fortunately my helmet
took the force and there was no injury to me, but without the helmet I may
well have ended up unconscious in the middle of that lake without another
boat in sight.
Helmets also keep your head warm in rain or wind and are not in the least
uncomfortable. We use a motley assortment of old bike, kayaking and even a
* From Paul Newell:
On the topic of whether helmets will become as common as lifejackets (Sbutt
3445), this is something I've been considering doing for some time now.
There a several personal reasons for wearing protective head gear:
1) We have an old Tornado cat that still has some spectacular turns of
speed and coming up all standing with a nose-dive at 20kts+ has all the
potential for personal injury.
2) We have an old Half Tonner with a very low boom that could hit the
cockpit crew (I know I could lift the clew but that causes an even bigger
problem with the runners).
3) Our foredeck hand has been hit more than once with the head sail clew
ring during the tack (He's a slow learner!!)
4) We have a RIB that is capable of close to 40kts.
5) I have now lost too much hair. I no longer have the benefit of getting
any pre-warning that I'm about to be hit on the head or for that matter
walking into something. Now that I have to wear glasses for close work some
of the peripheral vision is impaired when using the wretched things.
One of my sons used to wear a "Gath" hat for wake boarding. My recollection
is that they looked something like the helmets that the BMX cyclists use
and very similar to the hats the Extreme 40's use i.e. a snug fit without
too much bulk. Any head impact is probably not as severe as a motorcycle
crash and the padding can be proportionately less.
I'm sure that others have a different list of reasons but it comes down to
one thing: "Where do I get one of these hats from?"
* From Peter Allen, Rochester, New York:
If we want sponsorship, we need to make our sport more easily understood.
We need to humanize sailing and serve it up as a familiar dish, or at least
one that is more common than a rocket ship. Thanks to the evening news,
even the exploration of space is more familiar and more understood by most
than even local racing in Lasers and Lightnings.
At the moment I'm referring to the lead item in today's issue ('Butt 3445)
about the Volvo Open and, more generally, about interest in yacht racing
and sailing in general. I had the chance to board and tour Puma's trial
horse before the last Volvo race and meet some of the crew members. So that
encouraged me to cheer for Ken Read and company as they participated in the
race. I could visualize them in the boat, even though they were sailing in
a new boat that wasn't even in the water at the time of my tour.
Now, if all the Volvo teams were more open, as suggested by Chris Nicholson
in 'Butt #3445, maybe we would have a larger pool of interested
spectators/followers for our sport. We might even attract a few new
participants. Otherwise, we are asking for interest and support for
something that happens "away," well off-shore. We follow no track, as in
NASCAR. The boats aren't anything that the average Joe or Jane can relate
to, like a Chevy, or a football, or a basketball hoop, most of which most
people have, at least casually, seen or maybe even used. Certainly the
Volvo boats (or the new America's Cup cats, for that matter) aren't
anything like Uncle Jim's Catalina 22.
Most of the public still thinks that sails are pushed by the wind, and that
somehow boats are able to float, even though they may have a lot of heavy
ballast. We really need to work on bringing our sport to the people.
Either that or let our sport be dominated by the wealthy who can finance
their own sailing endeavors.
LASERPERFORMANCE FALL SALE PROMOTIONS - 9/1/11 THRU 12/31/11
Buy a qualifying boat and receive a free GoPro HD Helmet Pro video camera.
Check out the Heavy Air Laser Slalom (below) filmed mostly on GoPro's. As
always, yacht clubs, camps and individuals can take advantage of low Fall
Fleet Builder promotional pricing on C420's, Opti's, Bug's and CFJ's.
Details at LaserPerformance.com (http://na.laserperformance.com/home) or
your Local Dealer (http://na.laserperformance.com/dealer-locator).
If someone has a mid-life crisis while playing hide and seek, does he
automatically lose because he can't find himself?
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
IYRS - Harken - North Sails - Gowrie Group - Salt Harbor Studio
Doyle Sails - Team One Newport - LaserPerformance - Ullman Sails
JK3 Nautical Enterprises - Summit Yachts - New England Ropes
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